"Moose may try to lick your car. Don't let them!" urges park service

Parks Canada has a stern warning for drivers this winter: "Moose may try to lick your car. Don't let them!"

Apparently, moose seek out additional salt in the winter as they don't get enough of the nutrient from their herbivore diet. In the winter, road salt is applied to highways to reduce skidding. The road salt then sprays up onto cars to form a delicious treat for the moose.

"In the summer there's lots of greenery around and those plants have a lot more minerals in it … and in the winter they typically don't have access to that," said University of Northern British Columbia moose expert Roy Rea. "They have to go where they can to find the salt and … one of the most convenient places for them is if they cross the road and give it a lick."

The problem is that it puts the moose at risk of getting hit by a vehicle.

"Parks Canada understands that seeing those wildlife is a real highlight for a lot of people, but we ask people not to stop … so that the moose can't get used to licking salt off of the cars," says Parks Canada's Tracy McKay.

From CBC.ca:

Parks Canada first started warning people after it received calls from drivers going through Alberta's Jasper National Park, who were seeing moose come up to lick their cars, says McKay[…]

McKay says despite the agency using sand for the park's roads, moose are still drawn to it for the trace amounts of salt found in the sand.

"There's been a few projects in various places that have tried salt alternatives, but they tend to be more expensive or they don't work as well or both," she said, adding the warning is a way to preserve Canada's moose population.